Tag Archives: God

Diving Into A Sea of Books–Deeper Waters–Immersed in the Life-Changing Truth of God’s Word

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As an avid reader, I get excited about the great number of books out there to read, either for entertainment, education, inspiration or with some books, all three. The quantity available in print, audio, and e-books reminds me of the vast amount of life in the oceans, so I call these book reviews “Diving Into A Sea of Books”. As with diving into an ocean looking for interesting objects, diving into books means you come across mixed results: over here, a book you don’t bother to finish, over there, a “treasure”–one that you like so much you can’t wait to reread it, and over there, a book you read and think, “Meh”.

Deeper Waters–Immersed in the Life-Changing Truth of God’s Word by Denise J. Hughes is a guide to Bible study unlike any other I’ve read, mainly because of the honesty of the writer. Denise is a Bible study teacher and at the time of the writing of the book, an adjunct professor at Azusa Pacific University. She admits the doubts she faced in her relationship with God as she grew up due to heart-wrenching difficulties that hit her family. She doesn’t give any of the phrases Christians often say, such as “Have faith in God”, which sounds good, but when rough times hit, don’t offer anything to hold onto. She does write about how God brought her back to Himself.

Denise takes the life of Ezra, a scribe who lived hundreds of years before Christ, as the pattern for the kind of Bible study she sets forth in Deeper Waters. As scribe, Ezra copied and wrote records. Denise emphasizes the importance of writing down Bible verses–ones that speak to you.

One thing that bothered me was the way her family’s story was scattered throughout the book. Although Denise probably did this to illustrate the particular point she wanted to make in that chapter, writing this way threw me off a bit.

To her credit, the author never takes a self-righteous, patronizing tone. Instead she writes as a guide who’s been through turbulent times.

If you want a guide to Bible study which also acknowledges that life and the walk of faith is not always smooth and easy, read Deeper Waters.

©P. Booher

 

 

 

 

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Diving Into A Sea of Books–You’re Not Alone–Daily Encouragement For Those Looking For A New Job

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As an avid reader, I get excited about the great number of books out there to read, either for entertainment, education, inspiration or with some books, all three. The quantity available in print, audio, and e-books reminds me of the vast amount of life in the oceans, so I call these book reviews “Diving Into A Sea of Books”. As with diving into an ocean looking for interesting objects, diving into books means you come across mixed results: over here, a book you don’t bother to finish, over there, a “treasure”–one that you like so much you can’t wait to reread it, and over there, a book you read and think, “Meh”.

You’re Not Alone, subtitled, Daily Encouragement For Those Looking For A New Job, by Richard Malone, is a helpful, useful book of meditations for those in the uncertain world of job changes. The book came about during the author’s own period of  unemployment when he looked for a devotional book and couldn’t find any.

Each day begins with Scripture, Mr. Malone’s writing, and then a short prayer. Mr. Malone points out that many of the people in the Bible dealt with a variety of situations that could bring on the powerful emotions a job loss carries with it–anger, fear, the desire for revenge, loneliness, and others. The author shows that God helped all those people, and He is more than willing to help people who’ve lost their jobs, for whatever reason.

At the back of the book Mr. Malone lists many books on the subject of work and handling emotions related to job loss.

Comments: This is the only book I’ve found so far which links unemployment and Scripture, and shows the help God offers through faith. While compassionate in tone to the job hunter, Mr. Malone also is realistic about factors that come into play in employment. He emphasizes that overall, no matter what, God is still here, and can be trusted. Given that a person cannot be sure of job “security”, this book is a valuable resource. To me, it’s a “treasure”. I want to start a job-search/support group in the future; this is one of the books I plan to use in the group.

©P. Booher

 

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The Lure of Worry, the Futility of Worry

 

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“Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life?” Jesus, Matthew 6:27 (NIV)

I have a problem with worry. In two seconds flat I can worry about something that hadn’t crossed my mind before then. Less than two seconds later I have a tidal wave of worry in my mind. “What do I do if that happens, or if that happens?” or “What if I do this and then that happens? Then what do I do?”

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There Is Life After High School

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I don’t have fond memories of my school years. I was picked on from about second grade through eleventh grade. I never knew what would bring the teasing on–perhaps being the only person in second grade to have to wear glasses? (This was long before contact lenses.) Or maybe it was my shyness–often I couldn’t think of anything to say in peer-to-peer conversation, so I was quiet. (When you are in school, any little difference from what is considered “normal” makes a person ripe for picking on.) Maybe the teasing of the moment revolved around my non-existent athletic ability (if a team had to pick me, the kids groaned and I wished for the ground to swallow me). Continue reading

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Friday Photos–Abundance II

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“…I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly.” Jesus, John 10:10b (KJV)

Some years ago while I was sitting on the couch, not really thinking of anything, a picture showed up on the screen of my mind. In the picture, flowers of all kinds and colors stretched before me as far as my eye could see. I believe God gave me a picture of abundance.

I’ve thought of abundance as what I have and what I receive from other people. I guess that’s natural, particularly in the culture I live in. Lately, this occurred to me: what if it’s also about what I give–from what God gives me? What if I am walking in that abundance right now and don’t recognize it?

After all, to God, life and abundance are more than material, they are also spiritual. Think about it: If life and abundance to God meant just material things, Jesus would have been born in a palace, not a stable; He would have lived in the finest house with lots of servants, He would have come at the head of a convoy of camels loaded down with bags of money to reward all His followers, many Scripture verses would not be in the Bible, and, lastly–I suspect He would not have died on a cross nor risen again. His values would not have been any different from the world’s. But because God’s values are different, His ideas of life and abundance are different. They run deeper than just what we can see. He considers abundance the way He sees it so important, so necessary for us that Jesus came to live among us.

©P. Booher

 

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Friday Photos–Do Not Despise the Growth You Can’t See!

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Daylillies coming up out back

Photo Credit: P. Booher

 

The other day I was in the back yard, looking at a gentle slope of ground. Warm afternoon sunshine encouraged daffodils and daylilies to poke through the soil. I could see little shoots of green emerging beside tree roots, leaves, and bits of tree branches that had fallen over the winter.

I looked to the ground above the slope, and  wondered, “How much growth is happening that I don’t see? Surely other plants are pushing through the earth in other spots; I just can’t see them from my level.”

Then God whispered, “That’s like the growth inside you. Just because you don’t see it, doesn’t mean it’s not happening. Don’t despise the growth you can’t see.”

God knows I needed that reminder. Other people seem to have it all together, whether emotionally, mentally or spiritually. I seem to lag behind, and I get impatient. But growth can’t be forced, whether in a plant or a person. The same as a farmer dare not dig up seeds to see if they are growing, I don’t want to continually fuss and fret about my inward growth. Both processes take time and faith.

“Who dares despise the day of small things…” Zechariah 4:10 (NIV)

©P. Booher

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